Margaret Court Arena Retractable Roof Addition


Major Projects Victoria/Victorian Government


Architects: NH / Populous / Aurecon

Feature: two operable panels measuring 57 meters x 32 meters

Delivery Method: Design-Build

Margaret Court Arena Retractable Roof Addition


As part of the Victorian Government’s $366 million Melbourne Park Redevelopment project, Margaret Court received a facelift to include 1,500 additional seats, more arena amenities and a retractable roof. The project was phased to be completed over three years, with the venue never unavailable to host its normal busy calendar of top line tennis events including the Australian Open, a Grand Slam event. 

Using a 3D virtual environment, the design team of architects, engineers and fabricators had to deal with the complexities of working on all sides of the existing structure. Walter P Moore served as specialty structural consultant with responsibilities to conceive of the innovative moving roof design, which uses the fixed roof elements to support the trailing edge of the moveable roof panels. A single truss completes the structure, with a mere 1.25m separating the top of the operable roof from the top of the fixed roof. The pleated roof folds down to pedestrian level, providing patrons extra protection from the elements during inclement weather.

As the final and largest portion of the Melbourne Park Redevelopment, Margaret Court’s renovations were completed in late 2014. Now ‘weatherproofed’ from the elements, the arena expects to host basketball, netball, concerts and entertainment year-round. The project also cemented Melbourne’s ability to host the Australian Open until 2036.